Dina Parise: The Perfect Landing

Just over a week ago, I was fortunate enough to interview one of the most intruiging people I’ve ever had the privilege to talk to on air. Dina Parise is a daredevil with an angel’s smile. She talks about danger with a mischievous giggle in her voice. She respects it, but she also welcomes it. 

She’s more confident than most but she’s also very humble. She’s competitive but also the perfect teammate. She has done things that no other woman has done in her class…

“No, I’m certainly not a pioneer in drag racing.” Parise, the first woman to win an IHRA Championship in the Pro Mod class, said with that same giggle in her voice. “The car doesn’t know if I am male or female, so forget that part. Just do what you want to to follow what you want to follow.”

Parise didn’t step into a race car until she was in her thirties, and now the woman who relishes the fact that she runs a quarter mile in sub-six seconds, at 240 miles and hour, is at the top of her game at 49 years old. Although, it would appear that she is part of a large team, Parise reminds us that it’s just her and “the boys.”

Her husband is her crew chief and does most of the work in house why she prepares sandwiches for the trip. Their friend Butch comes along and volunteers his time to help them reach success. 

Although, everything seems to be pointing up for the Parises at this time, not everything has always gone perfectly. During a race at the Maryland International Race Site, her car which was being tuned by pro modified legend Scotty Cannon, “got loose” and went right, hit the wall, went six feet in the air and came down with a “perfect 6” landing.

Dina started out her performance career as a professional skater in the Ice Capades, so she is has perfect grace in  getting back up after a fall. “Suck it up Buttercup and make some sammiches.” Is her philosophy on how to recover from a mistake.

For someone who has so much talent and courage, it seems that Dina had many options in life, but I thinking falling into the front seat of a race car…

Was the Perfect Landing!!!


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